Potential Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus

Didier Musso; Claudine Roche; Emilie Robin; Tuxuan Nhan; Anita Teissier; Van-Mai Cao-Lormeau


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2015;21(2):359-361. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


In December 2013, during a Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in French Polynesia, a patient in Tahiti sought treatment for hematospermia, and ZIKV was isolated from his semen. ZIKV transmission by sexual intercourse has been previously suspected. This observation supports the possibility that ZIKV could be transmitted sexually.


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquitoborne arbovirus in the family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus. It was first isolated in 1947 from a rhesus monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda.[1] Sporadic human cases were reported from the 1960s in Asia and Africa. The first reported large outbreak occurred in 2007 on Yap Island, Federated States of Micronesia.[2] The largest known ZIKV outbreak reported started in October 2013 in French Polynesia, South Pacific,[3] a territory of France comprising 67 inhabited islands; an estimated 28,000 persons (11% of the population) sought medical care for the illness.[4] The most common symptoms of Zika fever are rash, fever, arthralgia, and conjunctivitis. Most of the patients had mild disease, but severe neurologic complications have been described in other patients in French Polynesia.[5]